Ricky's birthday can't be perfect without his best friend there to share it.
When Ricky the rabbit wakes up bright and early, he knows it's going to be "a perfect day." After putting on his overalls, he helps his mother put up decorations and make the special birthday pancakes. He can hardly wait for his guests. Smiling bunnies in a variety of “ethnicities” arrive, shouting "Happy Birthday, Ricky!" Everyone brings a drawing or handmade present. Ricky should be happy, but where's his best friend, Annie? Mommy reads a special note from Annie with a challenge: Follow the blue arrows to find her. It's like hide-and-seek! They follow arrows to a wood, a bridge, a thicket of trees. Annie pops out from behind an enormous pine tree to give Ricky three kisses and a glittering birthday crown that she made herself. "Time for pancakes!" Mommy shouts. Everyone goes back to the house to eat, and Daddy shows up just in time with a special present—a box of magic tricks. With his guests' drawings hanging all around and his Daddy's present in his hand, Ricky knows it's been a magic, if rather arbitrary, day. Van Genechten’s childlike, black-outlined illustrations present the day with good cheer, but the lengthy text feels out of step with both toddler-level content and look.
Bland. (Picture book. 3-6)